Dementia retires Malcolm Young, but first the top 12 AC/DC songs

AC/DC - Rock or Bust - Web Site publicity still
AC/DC - Rock or Bust - Web Site publicity still

SOUTH FLORIDA, November 15, 2014 — Few groups have rocked as hard as AC/DC. The band was formed by guitarist brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in 1973. After the tragic death of lead singer Bon Scott in 1980, the band continued with Brian Johnson. Drummer Phil Rudd rounded out the group.

Angus Young became famous not just for his intense guitar riffs but for wearing his trademark religious schoolboy outfit of short pants and a necktie. Rudd, who is also a restauranteur in his native Australia, recently received notoriety of a different kind charged with threatening to kill, which in Australia, comes with a maximum prison sentence of seven years. He is also charged with possessing methamphetamine and marijuana.

The glue that held AC/DC together was Malcolm Young.

Rocking the world of rocked itself the family of Malcolm young has recently announced that the guitarist could no longer tour the band. He is suffering from dementia for some time and it has now forced him into a cruel retirement.

Angus Young spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about his brother’s condition and the troubles with Phil Rudd. Angus revealed that Malcolm Young’s health issues have been known for quite a while, predating the making of the upcoming  ‘Rock or Bust’ album.

The guitarist showed sings of memory lapses and concentration issues dating back to  ‘Black Ice’ album recorded between 2008 and 2010.

“He got good help, good medical care. [He had] to relearn a lot of things … which was very strange for him. But he was always a confident guy and we made it work.”

Stevie Young, a nephew to the Young brothers has been working with the band in the studio.

The bands most recent video “Play Ball” from “Rock or Bust”

As a tribute to Malcolm Young, following are the top 12 AC/DC songs.

As with any list, there will be controversy. Lists by definition are subjective. The “Back in Black” album sold over 50 million copies, making it the third highest selling rock album of all time behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Eagles greatest hits (which ironically did not include “Hotel California,” their biggest hit).

The song “Back in Black” was commercially successful, but some less heralded AC/DC songs are just better. “For those about to rock (We salute you)” is another great song that missed being on the list because quality does not have to mean recognition and increased airplay.

ACDC had plenty of famous hit songs. These are, in my opinion, their best 12 songs.

12) Stiff Upper Lip — The title track is an underrated song from an underrated album. “I warn you ladies, I shoot from the hip. I was born with a stiff, a stiff upper lip.” This song reminds fans that AC/DC will say what they want when they want to say it.

11) It’s a long way to the top (if you want to rock and roll) — The statement is true, but an epilogue needs to be written. As Malcolm and Angus Young would concede, it is an even longer struggle staying on top of the rock and roll world. Songs like this are why they did for over four decades.

10) Satellite Blues — By AC/DC standards, this song from the “Stiff Upper Lip” album is actually quite mellow. Just sit back and let the words of the title track get crooned over relatively mellow guitar.

9) Highway to Hell — This song is an AC/DC anthem. Although “Hells Bells” and “Hell ain’t a and place to be” say the same thing, this track has the band enjoying their days of doing wrong and being proud of it.

8) Big Balls — This one is just hilarious, filled with double-entendres. “The social pages say I’ve got the biggest balls of all.”

7) Shoot to thrill — This is just pure rock about life as a pure rocker. “Shoot to thrill, way to kill, too many women, too many pills.” If it was too much the band would have stopped. They loved every minute of the ride and this song reflects that.

6) Ballbreaker — This very underrated track off the album of the same name is just pure fun. The song has two meanings. The man has had enough of his woman and her complaints, but loves her in the bedroom. “You are a…ballbreaker.”

5) T.N.T. — That he is a “wanted man,” and a “power load” and tells us “watch me explode” because “I’m dynamite.” This song benefits from a fun intro with bandmates chanting “oy! oy! oy!”

4) Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) — All the different ways a hired assassin can kill are explored from “Neckties, contracts, high voltage!” to “warning signs, electric fences, T.N.T!” This song was the victim of one of the most hilarious parodies of all time, “Dirty Deeds Done with Sheep (Dirty Deeds, Little Bo Peep).”

3) Thunderstruck — This blockbuster hit from the “Razor’s Edge” album is one of the all-time great football anthems. Players blare this song when putting on their eye black before the game. The title of the song is repeated as the intro and outro are just unadulterated testosterone guitar hard rock.

2) Moneytalks — The other smash hit from “Razor’s Edge” is a phenomenal anthem about the glamour of rock life on the road. American rock music is about decadence, and AC/DC celebrates decadence to its very core in this song. They enjoy “tailored suits, chauffeured cars, fine hotels, and big cigars.” They also separate those who earn the money from those who try to take it away, “Hey little girl, you break the laws. You hustle, you deal, you steal from us all.” In the end, they are happy to reduce the game to its most baseless transaction, singing “love me for the money.”

1) You shook me (all night long) — The stereotype is sex, drugs and rock and roll, and this song is raw animal headboard-shattering sex. This song contains the greatest guitar solo in rock music history with perhaps the exception of Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” The Youngs are guitar royalty along with Clapton and Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits because of this song. “You shook me” has crossover appeal, a rock song frequently played at dance parties. Since it came out in 1980, guys have played air guitar to this guitar solo with as much craziness as the Youngs. “You shook me” offers the greatest line in the history of any rock song as Brian Johnson belts out, “She told me to come, but I was already there.”

AC/DC shook us all. May Brian Johnson keep singing, Angus Young keep being the schoolboy rocker rebel, and Malcolm Young find peace and solace in his close loved ones and legions of AC/DC fans everywhere.

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